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DoLittle's Closes Doors After 15 Years

Father-daughter-owned pub and restaurant note chain restaurants, down economy as main reasons; may pursue other options in the future.

The 'Cheers' of Mattituck Plaza -  a quaint and homey pub and restaurant where the staff knew most everyone's name - served up its last drink and cooked up its last meal on Saturday night.

"We stayed open as long as we could," said co-owner Dave Sailor. "But business went down. Our lease expired at the end of March. We had a friendly parting of ways. But I'm 67. I sign another 10-year lease and I'll be 105 by the time that's over."

The restaurant originally opened up 15 years ago under previous ownership. Sailor and his daughter, Sharon, took it over 10 years ago and after a few boom years to start, noticed a tapering off after a string of chain restaurants on Route 58 in Riverhead started to build up around the middle part of the 2000s.

"It used to be coming off the Long Island Expressway, the Elbow Room would be the first restaurant you'd hit," Sailor said. "The second one was this."

The restaurant held a loyal cast of regulars - "everybody knew everybody's idiosyncrasies," Sailor said - but when casual diners started to cut back on their meals out over the past couple years, the restaurant really noticed a drop in business, said Sharon Sailor.

In addition to the father-daughter owners, Sharon Sailor's son Paul Drum was also known as the restaurant's "heart and soul," even to keep the restaurant afloat.

Adding to the Cheers-style environment at DoLittle's, Drum admitted, "They've fired me like 50 times."

The Sailors praised their staff for staying with them until the end after they gave the crew a month's notice that they were closing.

Moving forward, the Sailors are unsure if or when they're going to open up another place for now. Sharon said she'll "leave the headaches to someone else for the summer. Then hopefully we'll do something else."

Dorian April 03, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The Sailor family are gracious hosts and extremely dedicated and hardworking. I hope to see them up and running some place else after a summer respite. Either way, I wish them all the best.
indy April 03, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Don't know how any business could survive the up-island rents charged at that shopping center.
Susan King April 03, 2012 at 01:14 PM
We are sorry to see Dave and Sharon having to close DoLittle's. Although the restaurant was in a "strip mall" type of location it's food was on par with any stand alone restaurant in the area and it always served consistently delicious, creative, and hearty meals with a wide variety of selections that would please any appetite. We've known Dave for over 20 years, meeting him when he was a bartender at a local restaurant in Aquebogue. Dave, Sharon and Paul treated their customers as friends. We wish them luck and hope they decide to give it another try. Sue and Bob

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